CHRIS Pennell came off the bench to score a try and set up another as England stormed to a 38-7 victory over Super 15 side Crusaders in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Worcester Warriors full-back made a significant impact to give Stuart Lancaster food for thought ahead of Saturday’s third and final Test against the All Blacks.
Pennell showed good hands to set up Anthony Watson just minutes after stepping out on the field and the Bath man crashed over for England’s fifth try.
Pennell was again called into action a few minutes later when he appeared from nowhere to dive and tackle Crusaders’ Jordan Taufua, denying the big forward a certain try.
In the dying seconds Pennell latched onto a Brad Barritt kick to race over the whitewash for his first try in England colours.
England took an early lead when Joe Gray crashed over the tryline with Danny Cipriani adding the extras, and several minutes later Ben Foden was on hand to put England 12-0 up.
Crusaders responded with a Matt Todd try converted by Tom Taylor but England bounced back with two quick scores from Barritt and Alex Goode. Cipriani again added the conversions to make it 26-7 at the break.
England found themselves under some pressure in the second period but managed to thwart the Super 15 side.
Pennell came on to impress in the final 20 minutes, setting-up Watson for the fifth and dotting down in the last minute to complete the rout.
The performance caps a fine season for the Warriors Academy graduate, who signed a new three-year contract in December.
After being nominated for the Aviva Premiership player of the season award, he was called-up to the England squad for the first time last month and made his international debut against New Zealand in the first Test.